Loyalty to Jay Z’s Tidal is killing sales for his musical recording act friends.
This has happened very quietly: sales of Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo” have dissolved without a physical CD or an actual digital download available on iTunes or Amazon. It’s still streaming on Tidal, Jay Z’s service, where it’s being promoted. But Tidal “sales” are not enough to stay charted.
In its first week of availability as a stream only, “Pablo” registered 90,000 copies two weeks ago. This morning, the numbers indicate that last week’s streams dripped to 33,760.
“Pablo” can only be downloaded on West’s own website for 20 bucks. But not in any of the online stores, and there’s no physical CD.
All the data shows that everyone wants streaming over digital downloads or CDs. But not so fast.
Beyonce should see this as a lesson. Her “Lemonade” just hit iTunes for a whopping $17.99 after only being available on Tidal’s streaming service. (It’s number 4, held back by Prince albums.) “Lemonade” has also just hit Amazon for downloading, also at $17.99, but hasn’t made their chart yet. The CD can be pre-ordered for May 6th, a week from this Friday.
“Lemonade” will not be on any other streaming services besides Tidal. And Tidal doesn’t really make streaming numbers jump– Kanye learned that when he finally moved to Spotify and AppleMusic, the streaming part of iTunes.
If Beyonce is smashing things with a bat now, wait til someone explains to her that Tidal will squeeze “Lemonade” dry.
Meantime, Kanye– a rabid Tweeter– has not posted anything to Twitter in ten days, since April 15th. Maybe he’s with Rupert Murdoch!